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Pelosi accidentally leaves Trump impeachment speech on plane

'At least she had organised it in her head'

Susan Cornwell
Thursday 26 September 2019 10:22 BST
Trump uses UN setting to attack critics in rambling speech: 'How can they impeach for that?'

On Monday evening, Nancy Pelosi set about writing one of the most important speeches of her long political career on her decision to open an impeachment inquiry into the US president.

Then she left it on a plane.

The Democratic leader of the US House of Representatives had spent all weekend mulling new allegations against Donald Trump and began sketching out a response on a flight from New York to Washington.

It was the first draft of Tuesday’s speech that got left behind, according to a source.

All was not lost. “At least she had organised it in her head,” they said.

In announcing the formal start of the impeachment inquiry, Ms Pelosi was reversing months of resistance to liberals inside her party because of the potential impact on Democratic candidates in the 2020 elections.

Reports surfaced last week that Mr Trump had pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate the son of Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential frontrunner in those elections.

The question for Ms Pelosi throughout last weekend was whether the allegations warranted a dramatic shift.

While she thought things over, Ms Pelosi was moving around.

She did not go home to California, but spoke at NPR journalist Cokie Roberts’ funeral on Saturday in Washington, flew to South Carolina on Sunday, returned to Washington late Sunday night and made a quick trip to New York on Monday.

The speaker spoke by conference call on Monday with seven freshman members of the House who were about to post an opinion piece in the Washington Post saying the allegations against Mr Trump, if true, were impeachable offences.

The group was giving Mr Pelosi a “heads up” that they were going to be posting the piece that evening. She praised them for making national security the central part of their argument.

When she made her announcement, Ms Pelosi stood in front of a line of US flags in her office, saying the US president's actions undermined national security and violated the US Constitution.

“The president must be held accountable. No one is above the law,” she said.


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